Karwa Bus No. 727….To Nuaija District from Hamad International Airport

That morning, my desire to went to downtown was so rushed. I couldn’t wait to get a closer look at Doha. But my rush was stopped for a moment, I continued to calculate in detail fo transportation budget which I needed for five days in Qatar. So that I didn’t leave too much of remaining balance in Karwa Smartcard later.

Short breakfast with bread at airport bus terminal.

My calculation decided to top up the balance for about 30 Riyal for entire trip, majority of trip would use city bus. This amount didn’t include Karwa Smartcard price for about 10 Riyal.

Ticketing Vending Machine.
Karwa Smartcard is the only access to enjoy Karwa Bus services.

Avsec: “Hi, No No No….Sir, Sorry, you can’t capture the building”, the South Asian looking officer approached and stopped me when pointing my camera at a side of Hamad International Airport from the airport bus platform.

Me: “Oh, I’m sorry sir….I don’t capture the photo yet, I’m sorry”, I immediately put my Canon EOS M10 into a folding bag.

Avsec: “Nice….Nice”, smiling while shaking his head. “Where will you go?

Me: “I’m waiting for bus no. 727 to Nuaija. Do you know, When it will come?

Avsec: “Oh, you better ask to Karwa Officer….Him (he pointed to a fat officer who was busy with his clipboard)”.

I went to him and asked the status of Karwa Bus No. 727, then he asked me to wait about ten minutes.

Just in time, the bus arrived.

Nervous, my first time in using Qatar city bus. If Dubai, Bahrain and Oman prefer red color for their city buses, Qatar had decided to use green color for it.

I was the first passenger on bus which had just been parked. A few minutes later, one by one, Hamad International Airport workers entered the same bus.

Preparing fo heading to Nuaija District.
A side of Hamad International Airport.

During trip, Karwa Bus slowly and leisurely ran while crossing city’s streets. Like other modes of public transportation in civilized cities, it ensured that every passenger felt safe.

Payment was made by tapping Karwa Smartcard on tap machine which located next to driver. You need to know that steering wheel in Qatar is placed in left side. While there, I entered and got off a bus always from front door. Of course, before getting off from bus, I had to check remaining Karwa Smartcard balance on the same tap machine.

Riding bus for thirty minutes, my eyes continued to stare at all the prints of city’s architecture which was passed, as well as various activities of local people who were observed.

Dropped off at Nuaija intersection.

As soon as I got off from bus, the wind hardly blew against me, carrying soft particles of sand with it. “Is this the taste of desert wind? “, my heart mumbled for a moment. My naked eyes had to be sacrificed to repeatedly hit by soft sand. I couldn’t longer look for my rayban glasses which I didn’t know where I put it in my backpack. The temperature of twelve degrees Celsius forced me to immediately reach Casper Hotel, where I would stay.

Al Emadi Hospital which I passed on the outskirts of D Ring Road.
Fresh flowers grown with hydroponic techniques.

After walking for a kilometer and a half and in twenty minutes, I finally arrived at a hotel Which appeared to be the result of turning a residential complex into a simple inn.

Casper Hotel.

Later I would tell to you how comfortable that simple dormitory is….?

Taken to Safir Airport Hotel, Kuwait

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I slowly walked to enjoy each arrival hall corridor in Terminal 4, Kuwait International Airport. There wasn’t rush, because my next flight was still fifteen hours away.

Moving to the transfer hall, my step rhythm became fast because aviation security officers arranged it in that way. Not long, I was in front of the screening gate after showing boarding pass to the female Kuwait Airways staff from Philippines. Damn, the screening process finally confiscated my mineral water.

Passing duty free zone in 1st floor, instinct directed me to find the most comfortable place to close my eyes. The trauma of being late has kept me awake at Bahrain Plaza Hotel since three o’clock in the morning. Now sleepiness overtaked me.

I went up to the 2nd floor via an elevator near gate B1. Excited, I caught fourteen long green sofas uninhabited right next to the departure gate D5-6. “Yeaaa….This is my bed”, the heart mumbled.

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Police: “Hello, Sir?”, a man with white robe woke me up.

Me: “Yes, sir”, I was surprised because I suddenly woke up.

Police: “Can I see your ticket and passport?”

Me: “Sure, Sir”, I frantically looked for it which was somehow tucked away.

Police: “Ohh, long transit. What airline did you use before?”

Me: “Kuwait Airways, Sir”, I showed my boording pass fragment.

Police: “Follow me now!”, upss, I got a problem …..

My heart beated faster as I followed his steps. Arriving at screening gate area where I originally have arrived several minutes ago, through a special door I was directed to Kuwait Airways Customer Service desk. I didn’t know what he said to staffs, until he called me to come closer. “Come!”, he said.

Customer Service staff apologized for didn’t carefully check my ticket. Even though my two tickets were non-connecting flights. But because both using Kuwait Airways, I got a benefit of staying at Safir Airport Hotel. Considering my next flight had to wait more than eight hours.

Police: “Enjoy your trip”, he said without a smile.

Me: “thank you very much, Sir”.

Police: “Welcome”, he just walked away.

For me, he wasn’t the airport police, but he ws an angel who suddenly came to me.

Transit card as access to hotel.

Passing back through the screening gate, I headed to gate B1 as instructed. Two Filipino ground staff invited me to sit and wait for airline shuttle bus to pick up. Then, one of them was seen busy with a walkie talkie to calling the shuttle bus in question.

Picked me up with two female passengers from Qatar.

Lobby Area

The airline shuttle bus freely took me around the airport. The bustle of cargo area with large cargo planes background left me stunned.

Ten minutes later, I was dropped off right in front of hotel’s lobby. A policeman suddenly stood up from his relaxed seat at the screening gate. He was seriously observing my single backpack inside the Luggage Screening Device. “OK, clear”, his words ending the process.

Lobby gate.
Area with sofa.
Area without sofa.
Departure fight information.

Room Area

I walked down the corridor to room 113. It was a pleasure to be able to taste the hotel which fare abour for 54 Kuwait Dinar per night. It was just a shame, I couldn’t enjoy all its free luxurious facilities because of a severe flu attack since left Bahrain. I spent the entire room and toilet’s paper to fight clear mucus which kept uncontrollably flowing from my nose.

Corridor leading to the room.
Got a twin bed room.
Bathroom.
Poor sleeping.

Scenery

Suddenly I woke up because curious about view in the window. A service plane from the Kingdom of Kuwait was seen parked unaccompanied. Half an hour later, a military transport plane, Boeing C-17 Globemaster III landed, it was the type of plane which was destroyed by Donatello in the film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows.

I even had time to enjoy a row of fighter jets at a side of airport. Indeed Kuwait International Airport was basically a development of Abdullah Al-Mubarak Air Base belonging to the Kuwait Air Force. Wow, lucky me.

Kuwaiti Royal Service Aircraft.
Boeing C-17 Globemaster III.

Restaurant

A call from receptionist woke me up, “Sir, please come down!”. I briefly answered “Wait for 10 minutes, Sir”. I packed my gears into backpack. Then hurry down. “Why do you bring your backpack and check-out, I just want to give you an information that it’s dinner time”, he said with a laugh. Suddenly, I returned to the room embarrassed. Then went down again for dinner.

Al-Dawarza Restaurant.
Restaurant terrace.

Hmmm….Unforgettable memories.

Kuwait Airways KU 614 from Bahrain to Kuwait

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KU 614 flight route (source: https://www.radarbox.com/)

Exactly on five in the morning I started to wash my body in the bathroom of Bahrain Plaza Hotel. That day, I would leave Bahrain and heading to Kuwait. After making sure all equipments wasn’t left behind, I went down to the first floor to hand over the key and headed to the nearest bus shelter. Not far, just three hundred meters at south of the hotel, right in front of Manama Cemetery.

Ten minutes later, the bus from MAN manufacturer numbered A1 arrived. Entering from its front door and tapping Go Card to pay the fare worth BHD 0.300, I drove to Bahrain International Airport for the next a hour.

Arriving at the airport on 07:45 hours, I went straight to 1st floor. Its check-in area wan’t better than the same counter owned by Halim Perdanakusuma Airport (second airport in Jakarta). The flight number which didn’t appeared yet on the Departure Hall LCD gave me time to exchange the remaining Bahraini Dinar (BHD). Apparently the money changer on the 1st floor didn’t want to accept small amount of Dinar, fortunately the Bahrain Financing Company (BFC) on the 0th floor was still willing to accept it.

On 9:30 hours, the check-in counter for Kuwait Airways flight KU 614 began to open. I briefly explained that I was going to Qatar with two non-connecting flights and would transit in Kuwait. The young male staff only once asked me about the Qatar Visa. “Qatar visa is free for Indonesian, Sir“, I answered to ending the conversation and he gave two tickets with the blue bird logo at once. The ticket itself I ordered on nine months before departure.

Kuwait Airways was the 27th airline which I boarded.

Smoothly passing through the immigration counter, I immediately headed to Gate 15 which was located in the corner of departure waiting hall with a narrow hallway which connects to the aerobridge. Waiting for boarding time, I continued to observe the flow of Gulf Air, a well-known airline belonging to the Kingdom of Bahrain.

Departure waiting room.

A little late, I started boarding on 11:51 hours. Couldn’t wait to experience the first time flying with Kuwait Airways, the airline belonging to the Kingdom of Kuwait.

Late for a hour.
Business Class.
Economy Class.

Immediately took a seat as stated on the boarding pass and preparing for a short flight of 420 km which would be covered in 1 hour 10 minutes.

Seat number 17A was where I sat.
Thank you 12Go for being an Affiliate Partner for travelingpersecond.com.
Alburaq inflight magazine.

It appeared that some of the airline’s aircrew were from the Philippines and some from African region. During the flight, I noticed that alcohol bottles weren’t visible on food trolley, it looked like the Kuwait Airways flight was an alcohol-free flight…..It was cool.

Watching “The Martian“.
The Low Fat Meal (LFML) menu which I ordered together with the ticket order.

That afternoon the air on the southwest bank of Persian Gulf was clear. This made my flight felt very smooth, with no turbulence at all. Nice flight.

Sunny weather in early January.
How did the feel, flying with Middle East people?.

DIn the last quarter of flight, the plane began to lower and revealed the land of Kuwait which looked arid and hot. I myself couldn’t wait to get to know Kuwait International Airport which was the main hub of Kuwait Airways.

Middle East mainland which typical sandy brown.
Busyness at Terminal 2 Expansion Project.
Kuwait city view.

The time was 13:35 hours. After the plane came to a perfect stop, I immediately left the fuselage for Transit Hall of Kuwait International Airport. I would patiently wait until four o’clock on the next morning to heading to Qatar.

A320-251N Neo Generation of Airbus

Next Story—->

Reschedule Kuwait Airways after Kuwait Tourist Visa Failed

Exactly thirty days before my backpacking departure to Middle East Region, I started to get busy in hunting all visas needed, it were tourist visas to visiting Kochi, Dubai, Oman, Bahrain, Kuwait and Qatar.

Among the six visas, I had a bitter experience when I finally failed to get a Kuwait Tourist Visa. This caused me to must satisfy to just enjoying Kuwait by transit, but of course it was better than nothing.

At the end of November, all information about Kuwait Tourist Visa which I got through internet (google, youtube and facebook) I recorded in detail. Until I phoned those contact numbers one by one. The best information which I have was that I could enter Kuwait by Visa on Arrival (VoA).

Conversation via Whatsapp with Kuwait Visa agency.

Calling several phone numbers which I got on internet, every ring which I sent was unanswered. So to immediately made sure, I rushed to Kuningan area in early December to directly ask at Kuwaiti Embassy.

It was quite difficult to find its location, because the address which was displayed by Google was never correct. I had to get lost in an unnamed embassy office in Patra Kuningan I Avenue . A large building which was guarded by a group of men in military helmets and armed with long barrels. The brake screech of my motorbike right in front of the entrance made them suddenly alert and raised their weapons to their chests.

Me: “Sir, is it the Kuwaiti Embassy, ​​is it?

Guard: “No sir, this is the Australian Embassy”.

Me: “How come google maps directs me here, sir?”.

Guard: “That’s wrong, Sir, a lot of people stray here like you“.

Me: “Do you know where the location is?”.

Guard: “Oh, I don’t know, Sir“.

Finally they lowered the position of weapon after knowing my aim. It’s just that I admits that I was impolite, asking something on a motorbike and right in front of the gate…. Hahahaha.

Address from other sources also led me to stray on Denpasar Raya Avenue. I didn’t know what office it was, fortunately its guard was able to give me clear direction to the Kuwait Embassy. Until finally I arrived at the Kuwait Embassy office on Mega Kuningan Barat III Avenue.

Pretty simple Kuwaiti Embassy office.

There were no visitors and only two security guarded it. They directed me to sit on a small terrace in left corner of the embassy. Until they called the staff who handled Visa application.

Finally my hope of exploring Kuwait were dashed after the beautiful embassy staff gave an explanation through a narrow slit in the visa counter.

For Indonesian citizens, Kuwait does not issue tourist visas, Sir. We only handle Working Visas and Diplomatic Visas. To be able to travel there, you have to get a Calling Visa from your friends or family in Kuwait,” She said.

Knowing my intention was gone then there wasn’t other way. I had to expedite the Kuwait-Doha departure ticket which I got since mid-April. After counting, rescheduling was more cheaper than buying a Bahrain-Doha direct flight ticket.

So from Bahrain, I was going to Doha with a transit in Kuwait.

Kuwait-Doha ticket.

I immediately contacted Kuwait Airways via Whatsapp in the first weekend of December.

Conversation with Kuwait Airways Customer Service.   
After fixed reschedule the flight, they gave me a payment link via email.
Link was two hours old. I needed to quickly make a payment via credit card.

In addition to rescheduling flights, of course I had to cancel hotel reservations on Booking.com.

Vera House & Hotel for 14.4 Kuwait Dollar per night.

This means, in the middle of my trip later, I wouldl visit Doha longer. From the previous plan, i.e three visiting days became five visiting days. And my exploration to Kuwait was only limited to transit. But this transit period had provided an unforgettable experience.

What kind of experience?….Hahaha, just read on next story!